Ever feel nervous about giving a speech, making a call, writing a letter or any other activity?
Well, you’re not alone.
I’ve heard that most people prefer death over giving a speech. Imagine that. The very thing that may make you feel more alive than ever before – and you’d rather opt out – of living.
Strange but true.
Same sort of thing applies to writing or making a sales call. The very idea terrifies many, many people.
Or does it?
I now know it isn’t the idea that terrifies. It’s the mental picture you have in your mind about the activity or idea.
If you see yourself in the mental picture as nervous and full of jitters – they will manifest when it’s time to perform. If, on the other hand, you see public speaking as nothing more than having a conversation with a couple friends, there’s nothing to it.
If you see writing a book the same way, as writing to a friend, I seriously doubt you’ll experience writer’s block.
And if you see the person you are calling as a friend, I doubt you’ll be scared to hit the dial button.
It’s a fact then, that you CAN do any and all of these activities without nervousness – and have done so many times before.
What about sports?
In sports, you have the great practice athletes. They can work wonders and create cosmic situations when there’s “no pressure.” But as soon as there are referees, umpires and judges, along with a scoreboard and clock – uh oh. Game off.
Without pressure, the athlete is one person, with pressure, he or she is someone else.
One of my favorite quotes is from Chuang Tzu:
“When you’re betting for stones in an archery contest, you shoot with skill. When you’re betting for fancy belt buckles, you worry about your aim. And when you’re betting for real gold, you’re a nervous wreck. Your skill is the same in all three cases – but because one prize means more to you than another, you let outside concerns weigh on your mind. He who looks too hard at the outside gets clumsy on the inside.”
I encourage you to print this quote and tack it somewhere where you can review it often. Or cut and paste it onto one of your mobile devices.
Why? Because it’s a reminder to NEVER bet for gold. To never play for rings or awards of any type compensation – in your own mind.
Yes, you can play for awards, money, gold and the like – but deep inside your mind, you’ve got to mentally pretend that you’re playing for stones – and cheap ones. Not rare and precious minerals.
All activities, professions, sports and arts are “inside jobs.” And one of the fastest ways to lose sight of the inside job you are preparing for is to occupy your mind with externals.
The externals make you try too hard, which never works. The externals cause you to think too much, not a good idea. The externals can also make you forget the fundamental skills that got you in position to win the prize.
To be free of nervousness, fear, worry and the like, you need to be in a “no mind” state. This is one of the misnomers in the meditative community. They often speak of being “mindful.”
Translate “mindful” as “mind full.” And sense when is a full mind a good idea?
Empty the mind. Be free of the traps of the mind. Get into flow. Be natural. Be authentic.
Now, how do you do it?
Interestingly, Theatre of the Mind, does it for you.
You use your mind to relive and revivify powerful memories from your past – then you connect them to a bright and glorious future. And when you do this – you suddenly feel as if there’s no past and no future. There’s only NOW.
You get into FLOW and start experiencing the authentic YOU – the person who isn’t nervous, fearful or worried.
Yesterday a man told me that he was nervous before filming a DVD. His videographer was late and this caused more jitters. Then he thought about putting on Theatre of the Mind to calm his nerves.
He did so and 15 minutes later – he was renewed.
Zero nervousness. Zero Resistance.
He was totally in the ZONE – he was in FLOW.
And that led me to recall the Ray Knight quote from the 1986 World Series, wherein Knight garnered MVP honors.
After smacking a game winning home run, Knight responded to a question about concentration as follows:
“Concentration is the ability to think about absolute nothing when it’s absolutely necessary.”
Does that sound like “mind full” or “no mind” to you?
Make a choice to get into the concentrated state where you are no longer concentrating. You are being concentrated on something.